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Homegrown Careers at Community Health

What is a Medical Assistant?

Medical Assistant

At Community Health, Medical Assistants (MAs) are an integral part of the healthcare team and have roles in both the clerical and clinical workflow assisting patients, providers and staff. Clerical Medical Assistants are often the first point of contact for patients, answering phone and greeting patients, scheduling appointments and updating information and registration data.

Medical Assistants in the clinical setting work directly alongside healthcare providers as part of the clinical team. Clinical Medical Assistants prepare the patient for their visit with their provider by reviewing and updating the patient history, medications and personal information.

MAs obtain vital signs (such as blood pressure), perform recommended screenings and perform basic lab tests. Depending on training and experience, MAs may assist providers with patient examinations and procedures, administer injections, immunizations, medications as directed by the provider.

Demand for Medical Assistants

Government statistics indicate that demand for Medical Assistants will grow by 16% from 2021 to 2031. That is much faster than the average for all occupations tracked by the government. Over the next decade, an average 123,000 openings nationwide for MAs are projected for each year. As the baby boomer population ages, healthcare demands will increase the need for medical services, and MAs will be needed in primary care settings.

Cheryl Lampiasi, RN, has worked at Community Health for 13 years, mostly in the Express Care practices. “I started at Community Health as a licensed nursing assistant (LNA) having completed this program through Stafford Tech. I expanded my healthcare career by taking classes at Community College of Vermont (CCV) to become a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA). Community Health allowed me the opportunity to grow my career by giving me the flexibility in my schedule to attend classes.”

Nichole Campton, RN, Community Health’s Clinical Educator, is a native Vermonter. She’s worked at Community Health for the past five years. “After high school, my goal was to go back to school to be an x-ray technician. I saw an ad in the paper for an MA program and went straight into that program. At Community Health, I started as an MA in primary care then Express Care and, while working as an MA, I went to nursing school. I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my nursing career, but I love healthcare and I love working with patients. I have been involved with the program at Stafford since the summer of 2019, when a Community Health co-worker who was an instructor needed some help with the course. It just fell into my lap, and I learned that I love teaching. Community Health was always there to support me.”

Last year, Lampiasi and Campton both completed associate degrees and became registered nurses. They have taught the clinical modules, the on-the-job portion of the Medical Assistant course, at Stafford Technical Center in Rutland.

Nancy Trombley, CMA, has been working since the age of 13. Born and raised in Rutland, a Rutland High School graduate, she’s stayed close to home with positions in retail and as a pharmacy technician. A co-worker mentioned that Community Health was a great place to work, so, eight years ago, she joined Community Health Rutland part time at the front desk, answering the phones and greeting, directing and scheduling patients. When a full-time role at the Patient Access Center (PAC) became available, she made the decision to join the health network. When the opportunity to become a Certified Medical Assistant came about, she made the decision to take the next step.

“I would have never thought when I first started this journey that I would have gotten this opportunity. I thought I was just going to keep my knowledge and continue to grow. I look back on it, and realize I still have a lot to learn, but I’m now a Certified Medical Assistant,” she said.

Michele Parker, Manager of Community Health’s Patient Access Center (PAC), taught Stafford adult evening classes for billing and coding for over two decades. She joined Community Health in 2011. Her career in healthcare spans 31 years. “I encourage clerical staff to consider the Medical Assistant Course as an opportunity to advance their career,” she said.

“When I was in Community Health’s financial services group, I was a manager of centralized medical records and assisted the billing manager with credentialing, billing, insurance, collections and federal poverty levels for our internal sliding scale fee discount program. I’m also a Vermont Health Connect certified application counselor,” she said.

“In the Patient Access Center, we have had a large number of clerical staff who take the MA course. I encourage clerical staff to consider the course as an opportunity to advance their career. It’s a commitment for them to work, go to class at night and do the homework. It is rewarding when they complete the program and continue to work at Community Health.”

The Medical Assistant Course

Community Health, in conjunction with Stafford Technical Center, created the Medical Assistant Certification training program that has now graduated dozens of Medical Assistants. This fills a much-needed role in healthcare in the region, according to William Lucci, Assistant Director for Adult Technical Education at Stafford Technical Center.

Last year, Lucci’s workforce development classes, headquartered at Stafford Technical Center in Rutland, offered training, education, practical experience and certification courses to over 370 career seeking individuals. A new semester is underway, including the 14-week Medical Assistant training class designed and supported by Community Health.

“In total, we have had over 50 graduates since the first MA class in 2019. The course is very much driven by what Community Health felt was necessary for people to be successful in that position. Three medical professionals at Community Health are course educators – Nichole Campton, RN, Michele Parker and Cheryl Lampiasi, RN, teach the different modules. They are practitioners and it doesn’t get any better than that. They do a great job for us, knowing the ins and outs of the profession.”

Join Our Team at Community Health

If you are interested in a rewarding career in healthcare, Community Health is committed to supporting you and providing the workforce and services that the future demands.

“In addition to the MA program, Community Health has internal career tracks to provide growth and opportunity. Community Health wants people to grow. We provide lots of opportunity,” said Human Resources Director Samantha Davis.

Want to know more about how to Join Our Team? Contact Community Health’s career development team for more information about our job openings and how Community Health can help you grow a career in healthcare.

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